KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP) and Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) announced today an agreement with Google and the City of Kansas City, Mo., to bring Google’s ultra high-speed fiber optic Internet service to residents and businesses in Kansas City, Mo. KCP&L is the first investor-owned utility in the world to partner with Google on its Google Fiber initiative. By providing access to its electrical infrastructure, KCP&L will allow Google to offer Internet service at speeds up to 100 times faster than what most people have today.
“Today is an exciting day for our company, our customers and the Kansas City region,” said Mike Chesser, chairman and CEO of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L. “KCP&L’s electrical infrastructure, one of the most reliable systems in the United States, combined with Google’s state-of-the-art fiber optic technology, will deliver Internet service at speeds unknown anywhere else. We can only begin to imagine the benefits and possibilities.”
"Just as the move from dial-up to broadband led to new and unpredictable innovations, we believe ultra high-speed bandwidth will push the web to even greater heights – and we couldn’t imagine a better place to start than the Kansas City region," said Milo Medin, Google's Vice President for Access Services. "We're thrilled to be working with KCP&L to bring the most advanced Internet service in the country to Kansas Citians."
As part of the agreement, KCP&L will provide Google access to its poles, infrastructure and existing fiber network to deliver its ultra high-speed service to customers in Kansas City, Mo. Rather than having to build its own delivery system, this innovative agreement will allow Google and KCP&L to work together to deploy service over KCP&L’s existing infrastructure, significantly reducing costs as well as time for engineering, permitting and construction.
“At KCP&L we are committed to improving life in the communities we serve and this agreement helps us continue to do that,” said Chesser. “We have a proud history of innovation and ‘firsts’ in our industry, from our landmark carbon offset agreement with the Sierra Club, to our urban smart grid demonstration project around the Green Impact Zone, to the introduction of all-electric vehicles to our fleet. Today’s announcement continues this legacy and our commitment to collaborative partnership.”
Over the last year, more than 1,100 cities across the United States competed to host Google’s next generation Internet service. In March of this year, Google announced Kansas City, Kan., as the first community to receive ultra high-speed fiber. Since the announcement, KCP&L, the City of Kansas City, Mo., and other community groups have continued to work with Google to expand the deployment in the Kansas City region.
“Google took notice of our region’s commitment to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. We applaud Google for recognizing what is truly special about the Kansas City region and our customers,” Chesser continued. “Imagine the economic development potential as our region becomes the first in the world to broadly deliver ultra high-speed Internet connectivity. Instead of only the largest companies or most affluent suburbs, this agreement will make superfast Internet connections available to everyone in Kansas City. Now schools, businesses, neighborhoods and individual residents will benefit from the ultra-fast broadband technology. We are excited to help unlock those benefits and opportunities.”
Google’s ultra high-speed broadband service will allow customers access to the Internet at sustained speeds of one gigabit per second. Google plans to begin offering this service to residents of Kansas City in early 2012.
Additional information about KCP&L’s involvement with Google Fiber in Kansas City, Mo., is available at www.kcpl.com.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE:GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.